At the 2016 Legislative Breakfast on Saturday state legislators including District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer, and District 63 State Representative Mike Braun both of Jasper, as well as District 74 Representative Lloyd Arnold of Leavenworth were on hand to provide updates on topics such as bills looking to be passed including increasing the cigarette tax, road infrastructure funding among others.
The breakfast was once again hosted by the Jasper Chamber of Commerce Vincennes University Jasper Campus.
Residents gathered at the school’s Center for Technology Innovation and Manufacturing located on the VUJC campus to hear from their local legislators.
Braun says some of the significant issues occurring this week in the state house deal with about 2/3rds of bills that are still active and may potentially run out of time before they are passed. He says this is possible due to time constrain or not enough consensus that is required. However Braun says road funding has a better chance to get through this year’s session.
One of the bills that Braun authored this year was the publication of health care charges. Braun says he was disappointed however that the bill failed to make it out of conference.
Now there has been an issue with receiving cigarette taxes used for road funding which some people find unfair or unrelated. Braun says 330 million packs are estimated to be sold each year in Indiana and the estimated revenue is roughly $270 million. He says its a tax that will also serve the purpose to be used in covering the treatment of smoking related illnesses not to mention assist with road funding.